Published Friday, September 24, 2010 3:01PM EDT
Where Sarah stands on the big issues facing Toronto:
1. Transit City is an important and controversial part of Toronto. What are your thoughts on the proposed plan?
"Well the basic plan of where we need to have transit is good. However, I believe we need to bury it. I believe we need to make an expanded subway system. The LRT or light rail, streetcar system imposes on neighborhoods because it adds to traffic congestion."
2. Bike lanes have become a topic in the last few weeks. Do you plan on implementing them on Jarvis, University and the other locations?
"I believe we need to form a grid across Toronto working with the communities and cyclists to say where the grid gets laid out. We have to be much more progressive, much more forward thinking with how we lay it out, and we have to look at the long term impact in where we need these bike lanes."
3. How do you feel about the idea of charging road tolls?
"I believe we need to place rush hour and congestion tolls on the DVP and Gardner and use that toll money to fund the expansion of the subway system. The idea is there will be a sunset clause and once the subway system is built we'll take the tolls off. "
4. What "big idea" do you have that will be part of your platform?
"My biggest idea is the subway system. I believe it is a long term strategy for long term economic growth. I believe Toronto must build this. We need to create effective transit. "
5. How do you plan on cleaning up the city?
"I want to form a parks association in every community of the city and figure out how we can work together to make this a beautiful city. When you look at something like the TTC and you see morale down and we see garbage everywhere, that's obviously management problems. So we have to go in and focus on those key areas. Improve management; improve standards and work together to get everybody on board with the idea of making our city a great city again."
6. How do you plan on bringing "new life" to the city?
"I'm a big supporter of the ARTS. Every dollar invested in the arts generates 13 dollars in our community through retail, hotels and restaurants. So by investing in the arts we generate more. I want to expand that. We have the billboard tax, and it should be going directly to the arts. I believe we should also set up something for entrepreneurs and our business owners so we invest in them."
7. How important is accountability while you are in office and how do you plan on monitoring this?
"Huge. I believe that everyone has to be accountable. Being an entrepreneur for the past 24 years, I've learned we need to have transparency in every single department. We have the innovation, we have the technology, I believe we just need to take off the locks and open it up to the city. We could have our citizens monitoring, policing if you will the spending at city hall and I think we need to do that."
8. What are your plans for the city's budget including property taxes?
"The bureaucracy has expanded to such a level that the budget is over inflated, it's bloated and what we need to do is bring it back in line. So what I think we should be doing is putting citizen's advisory panels into every department at city hall. I also think we need to reduce taxes, especially business taxes. Business is leaving the city because it's more affordable to do businesses in the 905."